Training for a marathon is a really big commitment. It takes about 4-6 months of time to properly train for the one day, the 4-5 hours of the actual race. I am kind of not wanting to know how many miles I will have run in preparation, nor do I want to add up how much money I have spent in new shoes, running clothes and even the travel costs to get the race! It’s a done deal, which is how I knew I would do it: book the flights, sign up and tell EVERYONE! No backing out once these three things happened. So here I am, less than 12 weeks from my first marathon, and I am a bit afraid.
Like any first timer will tell you, they are afraid of how they will actually do on race day. It is more likely than not that I will not run anywhere close to 26.2 miles on a training run before the actual marathon. It is simply too hot for me to contemplate doing that where I live. The best I can hope for is either a 20-ish mile treadmill run and/or a perfect running day while we are in London in early October so I can do a nice 20-ish mile run. And because race day will bring me into uncharted territory mileage-wise, I am afraid of what will actually happen.
I am also afraid of bad conditions on the race course. I know I can handle the heat (although I am begging God to please give us a cool, fall day), but what if it is really cold? I don’t have the right clothes for that type of running, not that I even have a clue as to how I should dress for a long distance cold weather run. And I can’t even get into what happens if it rains! A light rain I can do, but a pouring down, cold weather rain? Yikes!!! Again, no idea how to plan for that type of race. I may just ignore weather reports and go about my merry way believing that it can ONLY be cool and beautiful on October 25th.
Of course, I’m a bit afraid of the final uphill at the end of the Marine Corps Marathon. I guess I conveniently ignored that detail when I looked at the elevation map and registered for the race. But I think I’ll be OK for two reasons: 1) I will want to finish and will somehow find the strength to make it up to the finish line and 2) there will be hundreds of uniformed Marines in the final stretch all cheering the runners on. How can I not get a surge of energy and make it up that final stretch when I have the USMC at my back?
Most of all, though, I am afraid of injuring myself. Not so much in the actual race, but in the weeks before hand. My husband thinks I am a bit of a hypochondriac, which I may or may not be, so he takes what I am saying with a grain of salt most of the time. However, I live in terror of being only a few weeks away and suffering a major injury–where I can’t finish my training, let alone actually run the race! I don’t know what I would do. If I could, I would wrap myself in bubble wrap from now until race day. Alternately, I would prefer to speed the calendar up and have my race this weekend. Since neither of those things will happen, I will keep going on as I am.
I promise that I will be taking it easier in softball this fall season. I won’t stop playing (although, I have thought about that option, too) because I can’t stop living the rest of my life for the next 2 1/2 months. That would be silly. But I do know that I will listen even more closely to the signals my body is giving, choose my activities with more care and do all the things that I haven’t been very good about – like stretching after my runs, icing my knees, cross training regularly – to ensure that I will have done everything I can to do what is best for me as I trudge on to 26.2.
Is there anything else I should be afraid of? Please, tell me now so I can get over it long before October 25th!